A happy citizen of Qatar in Al-Khair Doha, my father, Mohammad Al Muftah was very happy to learn from my loving and very kind mother, Eman Ahmad, that I am to come very soon into a world of the best creatures created by Allah.
Sharing this happy news, both thanked Allah for the precious gift in their laps. Their days were passing with happiness and the best hope to have a healthy baby in their home.
In due course, they met a lady doctor for a routine check-up. During such a check-up, the doctor examined and found that my mother has twin babies. My mother and father, both were overwhelmed with happiness hearing this unexpected joyful news of twins, instead of one baby. They observed the sajdah to thank Allah as gratitude for His best blessings.
But, very soon, this happiness turned into glooms of sadness when the doctor advised my parents to abort. The reason doctor told them was, “Your one child is a victim of Caudal Regression Syndrome (CRS), a rare disorder, only one in every sixty thousand live births, that impairs the development of the lower spine, giving very few chances of survival.”
In other words, it is an inborn disorder in which the lower spine’s caudal division does not grow regularly during life without legs, without the lower part of the body, the baby (that’s me) is to operate a walk with the help of my hands, but luckily, the other twin baby, my twin brother, is completely healthy.”
Hearing this sad news, some relatives and friends also suggested my mother abort me as they believed that it would save me and my mother from sufferings in the future.
But both my father and mother decided not to abort me and they considered it the will of Allah. They also thought that it was against Islamic ethics.
Both mother and father agreed to be there to help me at all times and they said in one voice with determination, ”I will be his left leg and you will be his right leg till our last breath.”
Thus we (me and my twin brother, a normal healthy boy) were born on 5th May 2002.
I got the name Ghanim, (Ghaanim, نم غا ), an Arabic word, that means Treasure, Treasury, Ghanim Al Muftah and my twin brother, a normal healthy boy, is called Ahmad Al Muftah.
In the beginning, many schools were not willing to admit me. I found it very difficult to attend school, too, because of teasing and bullying from my classmates. However, my mother and brother always encouraged and motivated me to pursue my educational goals. They advised me to speak to classmates, teach them about my condition and spread awareness for the Differently-Abled Community.
I have gone further at embracing my condition with a charismatic smile, peerless self-confidence and witty personality. I have become a social media star and sensation with over four million followers across social media platforms and also a motivational speaker.
Though I was born with a rare condition of disability, I have to learn to overcome obstacles with positivity and leadership, this is what makes me an exceptional and inspiring character.
Now, I am currently pursuing my university degree in political science and international relations with an overarching goal of becoming a diplomat.
Naturally, people would expect me to use a wheelchair, but I insist on moving around on my hands because I believe that I should make use of everything which Allah blessed me rather than lament about what I don’t have. I have been blessed with many blessings in my life and I love to live my reality which I see as beautiful.
At 15 years of my age, I became Qatar’s youngest entrepreneur when I launched Gharissa Ice Cream, a five-star ice cream experience, using my mother’s secret recipe. I am passionate about creating a positive impact on society by promoting a plant-based lifestyle, and founding my first business – Evergreen Organics, Vegan Cafe in Qatar in 2016.
Despite my rare and distressing disability, I enjoy participating in extreme sports, such as scuba diving, skateboarding and rock climbing.
I am trained in many sports with a dream of becoming a Paralympics World Champion one day. I do believe that sports have the unique ability to unite countries and help them in their international relations, they also serve as a vital social bond.
By the blessings of Allah, I raised one million riyals for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and for other charitable organizations, too. I am honoured as the Ambassador of Goodness and Humanity by Regularity Authority for Charitable Activities Qatar, Ambassador of Peace by the Emir of Kuwait, Goodwill Ambassador of Reach Out to Asia, ROTA Foundations, Brand Ambassador for Qatar Authority, Arab Social Networking Pioneers for Youth-2015, Youth Ambassador of the Paralympics Athletics World Champions Doha, Honored by the King of Bahrain for my participation in the Gulf States.
Allah is enough kind to me, the king of Qatar decorated me as the official Ambassador of FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar. It provided me with the graceful opportunity to share the stage with world-famed Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman making headlines throughout the globe. It is the right occasion to share the truth that in the court of Allah, everyone belonging to any race and colour is equal. For Allah, only the good deed of humankind is important, not the colour or stature of a man or woman. Further, from the King and the people of Qatar, it is a touching message to the world that a disabled person with a rare disability like me also should be treated like a normal human being with all human emotions.
In my life, I have overcome all kinds of thought-provoking challenges, yet, there is still one issue, must regularly deal with extensive medical treatment and surgery. But, I know that with my faith in Allah, commitment and dedication, I will be free to accomplish my ambitions.
No doubt, this is an exemplary take instance of life in that I have earned the love, respect and admiration of millions of people in Qatar and across the globe, particularly, in the Differently-Abled Community and I would like to credit many people for my success, specifically, my family and my homeland, Qatar.
Still, I am committed to continuing to break my own records and fulfill my charitable callings wholeheartedly as well as I will combat all the obstacles on my path to success.
Thank you very much for listening to my story which is full of different colours reflecting humility and pride, sorrow and happiness, despair and hope, struggle and determination, commitment and dedication, confidence and trust, belief and faith in ALLAH!
The author is an ex-IBS officer in AIR/DD and National Sahitya Akademi and Delhi Urdu Academy Awards winner. He can be reached at [email protected]